A study on Prayer that heloped get me banned for life from Faithwalk

Let me know what you think please

The following has been modified through necessity, else it would not make sense in places. Bear in mind that this was addressed to a live internet audience where interaction was possible. However, I do believe that the gist of the study has been preserved throughout.

I must first ask all here to not pick on the things that I do not say. Please do not assume anything. If I want to say something, I hope I leave you in no doubt as to what that is. So if I say the sky is blue and someone asks the question – Are you saying it can't be Red? No, I am not saying that at all, only that the sky is generally recognised as being Blue. Such questions are time wasting and negative and have no part in Christian Faith or any other faith come to that.

I thought up this simple story to illustrate my views on the fundamental position that we have in life:

Peter prawn was swimming along in the sea one day when he came upon Tommy Trout. After saying hello, he asked “Do you worship the Great God of all – Wata".
"No" says Tommy, "never heard of Him. Where is He so that I can believe in Him". Peter replied: "He is all around you, He is in You and you in Him; in fact
In Him you move and live and have your being”. Act 17:28.
So after a radical shift in his vision, Tommy started seeing God in all sorts of places. When he could see Him, one day, and to his own surprise He spoke to Him.
It was much later that it came about one day that he heard the God answer him – but that is another story.


I guess one could speak from now till eternity about prayer. Rightly or wrongly, I consider all communication with God to be prayer of one sort or another. Whether it be Praise, Supplication, Intercession or any other fancy name.
So again by way of illustration I shall be using a few sound files to help me.

We can communicate with God at any time and in any place - some of which you may yourself consider totally inappropriate for prayer - believe me when I say that God would sooner hear from you as you ache working on some task or other than wait till evening prayer time.

The paragraph that should have followed has been deleted as it referred to things within the chat circle and has little or no relevance here.

It breaks my heart when I see the prayer of one person immediately undone by the prayer of another. Please don't be tempted to just jump into prayer without thought. Think about what you are going to pray about. Think about what the person before you has prayed about. It may be better to be first with thanksgiving than to reiterate the prayer of another. Take the following example: James has hurt his foot. John prayers for healing and for the pain. Peter then prays for James foot. HE HAS JUST UNDONE THE PRAYER OF JOHN! Because in praying again for the same healing he is confessing with his mouth that James is not healed, but has a bad foot. James will keep his bad foot till nature (which is God's anyway) takes over, and I thank God for nature and her remedies! The bible refers to this under the heading of repetitious prayer. Think of confessing our sins (sicknesses) one to another. We can talk one on one about what ails us, whether it be the Mother in Law or an unfaithful husband. Talking is good when constructive; when the problem is identified (and it is often not our first thoughts that lead us to this identification) then we can bring it before God.

 

Who amongst you can sum up the essence of God in one word?  Anyone like to try?
Of course it is; God is Love and Love is God and nothing exists without it!

I would like to read just a few sample verses of scripture which will say in a few words what it would take me hundreds to say:

Mt 22:37
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. In this he covered the first four of the commandments.
Mt 22:39
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
In this he covered the next six commandments.
Ro 13:10
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1Jo 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jo 4:8
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

So now we know the essence of God and it is this essence of God within us that is the lamp burning in the darkness that will draw all men to it like moths to a candle.

What I want to do in the next few minutes is to tell you how to build on that love to make you more like Christ and God.

One of the problems with the Church (and Christians) today is that we do not love ourselves! 
We are brought up with the belief that we are sinners from birth, that we are unworthy, that nothing we do is going to be good enough and even when we find Christ  – or Christ finds us, yet we still do not believe.
Why is it that we always believe not only the worst of others, but of ourselves also?
Why is it that even with the Holy Spirit inside us (the very essence of God) and therefore Love, that we do not believe it and live it?

We are taught by our church leaders and scripture that we die to ourselves and live for Christ. 
If we ask how we are to live for Christ we are given a set of do’s and don’ts that often prevent us from moving forward in our spiritual growth by the sheer weight of the oppressive rules and guidelines.  We are also told that we must suffer as Christ suffered and that suffering is good for the soul.  I have people come up to me and say “I am suffering for my beliefs” and most of the time I could tell them that they are suffering not for their beliefs but because they are objectionable people who cause others to dislike them through their own arrogance or Holier than Thou attitude and manners.

But Jesus said “I come that you shall be free”.  How does this compare with our daily lives?
God must have the worst PR that any leader the world has ever known in the past. 
God is to be feared.  God is Jealous.  God will do this, God will do that and so on. 
We should walk in fear of God every moment of the day for according to popular Christian beliefs God is coming for us and he is going to get us, and it doesn’t matter what we do because we are but beggars in filthy rags to him and probably need exterminating.

And while we are on the subject of beggars, what does God make of you when you start to pray?  It is no wonder that Jesus had to teach us how to pray (Mat 6:9) because we pray the same way today as they did 2,000 years ago.  We pray out of our want not out of our plenty.  Like a bunch of whining kids we get before him and say “Give us this, give us that”.  It is no wonder that we think prayers our not answered because we don’t know what we are praying for.  What we are doing is confessing with our mouths that we HAVE NOT and because God answers our prayers we will continue to have not.

We pray “Lord give us ice cream please”.  He looks down on us and says “It is true, you don’t have any ice cream” and that is terrible because he has said “My word will not return unto me void but will accomplish that which I set it”, so now GOD believes that you don’t have any ice cream and you can bet your boots that it will stay that way!!! 

We make a statement when we ask for something because saying “I want an ice cream,  is the same as saying, I don’t have an ice cream”.  Read Romans CH4: This is the faith of God that he believed those things that were not until they became reality.  He called them by name believing in them – not asking for them.

He commanded with the power of his word that a thing be so, and it was.  He said LET THERE BE LIGHT, he didn’t say – Bit dark here anybody got a match?  And why not, because it would have stayed dark!

And don’t forget that “anything which is not of faith – is of sin”.

And then there is the Lord’s Prayer.  Aware of the fact that we did not know how to pray he gave us a recipe for prayer; a detailed set of steps to approach God.  And what did we do with it? 
We turned it into a monologue, a chant without meaning.  If you don’t believe me then take it apart verse by verse and study it.

Firstly we identify who we are praying to, secondly we praise his name, then we identify ourselves as his subjects or children.  After that we ask for food???  What if it is 10pm and we are on our way to bed?  What’s the point in asking for food that we have already had.  Why don’t we ask instead for tomorrow?  Is it because we are told “give no thought for tomorrow or the evils thereof” and, “let the evils of today be sufficient thereof”!  So don't be afraid to modify the recipe to suit times and places!

Remember that by turning these things into chants we nullify the effects and we get what we deserve; nothing!!!

Before we even start to pray (assuming there is time) it may be wise to 'slip into the mood' as it were. As I slip into prayer mode, I can feel my thoughts and even my body change into a tranquil state. As I understand it, there are 3 steps to our Father. Repentance, Humility and Piety. Each step brings us closer to our Father, we can then praise Him and draw closer and He will draw close to us. In praise we identify those things to which glory should be given to God.

Jam 4:8 Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded!

                Our Father, who art in heaven – hallowed be thy name.

Acknowledge and identify who we are praying to. We can name our God and should at least some of the time. Consider Proverbs 30:4

(Pro 30:4)  Who has gone up to the heavens and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, And what is His Son’s Name, If you know it?

So what is His name and the Name of His Son. For me, His name is Yaohu'ul (Creator God) and Yaohushuah (Salvation of God), but you must decide on your own what name your God has.

Then couple it with this verse:

(Exo 20:7)  “You do not bring1 the Name of יהוה your Elohim to naught, for יהוה does not leave the one unpunished who brings His Name to naught. Footnote: 1Or lift up, or take.

This means that we have to use His name or it becomes meaningless, without power and is an insult. How many times are we told to 'Ask in My Name' or to 'Call upon the Name of the Lord'. Why do we think that God wants His personal name called upon and not just be addressed  as God or Lord. Paul tells us that 'There are gods, many, and lords many'. Which gods or lords are we praying to? Because there is power in that name. Didn't Yeshuah say 'In My Name shall you do' etc. Anyway, if you want any more on the names of God and Christ there are two articles on my website.

Give Praise because as we know:

God inhabits the praise of his people and the Jews were known as the People of Praise.

And:
(1Pe 4:11)  If anyone speaks, let it be as the Words of Elohim. If anyone serves, let it be as with the strength which Elohim provides, so that Elohim might be praised in it all through יהושע Messiah, to whom belong the esteem and the rule forever and ever. Amĕn.

One of my pet dislikes are chorus type songs that seem to offer praise, but in fact do no such thing. Who has ever encountered songs similar to the following few lines.
I will praise you Oh my Lord,  I will praise you Oh my Lord, to the ends of the earth I will sing your praise, I will praise you Oh my Lord.

What does that do? How much praise is in that – absolutely none is the answer and could have been written by the devil himself to lead us away from true worship and praise.

Here is a Praise song to listen to that may give you some ideas as to how to offer praise.

Click the Play button and then read along with the lyrics.


V1
Your shining light will be my guide.
Leads me to a place where I don't need to hide.
The heavens open up the door.
With dreams so innocent and pure.

Chorus
You are beautiful within the rays of light.
You are beautiful without the Jewels of life.
Let your spirit capture me, my love is blind.
You are beautiful within, you are beautiful without,
You are beautiful within.
you are beautiful without

You are beautiful within the rays of light.
You are beautiful without the Jewels of life.
Let your spirit capture me, my love is blind.
You are beautiful within, you are beautiful without,
You are beautiful within.

V2
You are beautiful tonight in amongst the rays of light,
Your silhouette it shines.
You're an angel you are free, let your spirit Baptise me and elevate my mind.

Chorus

You are beautiful within the rays of light.
You are beautiful without the Jewels of life.
Let your spirit capture me, my love is blind.
You are beautiful within, you are beautiful without,
You are beautiful within.

The Psalms are full of praise so why not commence a study to give you some ideas as to what Tommy Trout may have seen on his underwater travels.

  1. And  now moving to prayer its self; Ask ourselves why James says:

(Jam 1:8)  But he should ask in belief, not doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For that man should not think that he shall receive whatever from the Master – he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

(Jam 4:4)  You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and are unable to obtain. You strive and fight, and you do not possess, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, in order to spend it on your pleasures.  Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim?1 Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim. Footnote: 1Mt. 13:22, Lk. 4:5-6, Lk. 14:33, Rom. 12:2, 1 John 2:15-17.

Here are 10 points which may help us in prayer.

We prepare ourselves for an audience with our Father – spiritually and mentally prepare.
God Inhabits our Praise and draws us close
We do not ask for those things we ought not to.
We avoid talking about praising God, but instead go on and praise Him.
We avoid repetitious prayers, once asked for is sufficient. We do not need to keep asking because all that does is remind us that we do not have.
We give thanks for the things we pray for as that reminds us that in Faith, we do have them.
We believe in Faith that God not only hears our prayers, but answers them.
We pray in Faith.
Faith is the fuel and Love is the motor
We give thanks for answered prayer.

Above all else though, All things work through Love. Without Love we accomplish nothing. We receive nothing and we Give nothing.

When you pray for somebody or a situation, then move into that situation, project your spirit, soul or mind into that person and their situation. Feel their pain, feel their anguish, feel their despair.

When you feel it and Love within you takes over as the motor that drives your intentions, then and only then is it the right time for prayer.


Here is a song about despair which may help you to empathise with those that you meet along your pathway through life: Click Play and then read the lyrics.

 

I tried to kill the pain,
but only brought more.
I lay dying and i'm pouring crimson regret and betrayal

I'm dying praying bleeding and screaming
Am I too lost to be saved
Am I too lost?

My God my tourniquet,
Return to me salvation;
My God my tourniquet,
Return to me salvation.

Do you, remember me, lost for so long
Will you be on the other side, or will you forget me;
I'm dying praying bleeding and screaming;
Am I too lost to be saved; Am I too lost?

My God my tourniquet,
Return to me salvation;
My God my tourniquet,
Return to me salvation

My wounds cry, for the grave,
My soul cries, for deliverance. 
Will I be denied, Christ tourniquet,
My suicide

Do you know such a person in your life, do you empathise or do you dash off a meaningless prayer as if  it means something; as if it will do any good, as if God is listening. If God has a still quiet voice, then how much quieter is yours with all the clamour of your daily life crashing in from all sides?

And some more music that may also be a surprise to you if you think that discos are full of the devils music:

Tina Cousins – Pray – Some thing to pray for perhaps. Again, click Play and read the lyrics.

What a miracle is life
The fields are high and the fruit is ripe
So hold out your hands
Yeah hold out your hands

And you're the same as me
You breathe the air I breathe
And we don't understand
Yeah we don't understand

And if you don't ask questions you wont know why
So say a prayer for the time while theres still time
so Pray for good and pray for love
Pray for peace and pray its enough
Pray for salvation Pray that were right
Pray one day well open our eyes and
Pray for them and pray for us
Pray one day we can live as one
Pray for the children whose time is to come
Just pray they forgive us for the stupid things we've done

We all see the same sun
Each day a golden praise is sung
To the wonder of man
Yeah to the wonder of man
And when we look why cant we see
All the riches that are free
Oh we don't understand
Yeah we don't understand

Pray for good and pray for love
Pray for peace and pray its enough
Pray for salvation Pray that were right
Pray one day well open our eyes and
Pray for them and pray for us
Pray one day we can live as one
Pray for the children whose time is to come
Just pray they forgive us for the stupid things we've done

Well that concludes my presentation except for a final song that I leave you with

 

An angel face smiles to me Under a headline of tragedy
That smile used to give me warmth
Farewell - no words to say
Beside the cross on your grave
And those forever burning candles

Needed elsewhere
To remind us of the shortness of our time
Tears laid for them
Tears of love tears of fear
Bury my dreams dig up my sorrows
Oh Lord why
The angels fall first

Not relieved by thoughts of Shangri-La
Nor enlightened by the lessons of Christ
I'll never understand the meaning of the right
Ignorance lead me into the light

Needed elsewhere To remind us of the shortness of our time
Tears laid for them
Tears of love tears of fear
Bury my dreams
dig up my sorrows
Oh Lord why
The angels fall first

Sing me a song
Of your beauty
Of your kingdom
Let the melodies of your harps
Caress those whom we still need
Yesterday we shook hands
My friend
Today a moonbeam lightens my path
My guardian

Well that concludes my thoughts on prayer, it's application and purpose and why prayer often seems not to work. I hope you have gained something from this. Bear in mind thouagh that this study brought about a life time ban from a Christian chat site, so any insights you have that could show me the errors in my logic or theology, would be most welcome.

If you prefer to discuss or challenge anything in the above then login into chat where you will generally find me between the hours of 9pm and 12pm (UK Time).